Former football teammates Bob Crable '81 and Monogram Club president Joe Restic '79 enjoy the Friday night football reception

Monogram Club Musings: Michigan Edition

Sept. 14, 2010


Michigan Weekend Photo Gallery

Monogram Club Video Corner: Michigan Rivalry

This football season, the Monogram Club will begin producing “Monogram Club Musings,” a regular online article after each home football game. The publication will fill Monogram winners in on Club events throughout the season, provide information on alumni and prominent figures that return to campus for the game, and mention Monogram Club presentations and activities that occur before, after and during the game. Photo galleries and video clips will also be included.

If you can’t make it to campus, but would like to update the Monogram Club on what you’ve been up to, please send an email to and “The Muse” will include it in an upcoming edition.

This weekend, the Musings enlist a specific theme as the Muse spoke with Monogram winners from multiple sports about their memories of the Notre Dame/Michigan rivalry. In addition to the usual football weekend stops, the Muse also stopped by the Monogram Club Fall Board Meeting on Friday and attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Notre Dame ice arena on Saturday morning.

Michigan Game Notes

Prior to the game, former Pennsylvania governor (1995-2001) Tom Ridge, who later served as the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2003-05), presented the American flag to Notre Dame Alumni Associ ation president Michael Wong `96 and Monogram Club president Joe Restic ’79 (football). After a moment of silence to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Notre Dame president Fr. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., led the stadium in a prayer for those killed in the attacks.

After the presentation, more than 200 football Monogram winners formed the on-field tunnel for the 2010 football team to run through when entering the stadium. Alumni Association executive director Chuck Lennon ’61 (baseball) kept the tunnel in order like he does every year with the use of his trusty megaphone. Way to go Chuck!

During the game, members of the 1970 Notre Dame freshman football team sat together in Notre Dame Stadium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their rookie campaign with the Irish. The group was seen throughout the weekend at the Monogram Club’s Friday night football reception and at the pre-game reception on Saturday. The student-athletes in the 1970 freshmen class laid the groundwork for the 1973 national championship the teammates won as seniors.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Muse found Sgt. Tim McCarthy in the press box after he received his honorary Monogram from Club Executive Director Beth Hunter. The Notre Dame legend seemed quite moved by the presentation.

“I’m overwhelmed, speechless really,” McCarthy said. “I never expected this, it’s a great honor. I’ve certainly enjoyed my experience with the University of Notre Dame. What really surprised me was that they were able to conceal all this from me, and I’m an old state police detective. I should have known better!”

McCarthy began making his legendary announcements in 1960, deciding fans would be more inclined to listen to the safety message if he jazzed it up with a humorous line. Former Notre Dame athletics director Moose Krause loved the idea, and asked McCarthy to continue the service during each home football game. Now, more than 50 years later, the tradition continues to live on, more popular than ever before. To read more about the surprise presentation to McCarthy, click here.

Sightings Around Campus

Notre Dame athletics hosted Patrik Nilsson, president of Adidas North America and David Baxter, the president of the Sports Licensed Division of Adidas, on campus over the weekend. Adidas produced the patriotic hats worn by Irish football coaches on the sidelines during the game and the company is also designing New York-themed Notre Dame apparel for the Nov. 20 game against Army at Yankee Stadium.

In conjunction with the New York City football game, former Notre Dame running back and current director of non-baseball events for the New York Yankees John Mosley ’83 (football) was seen on campus working with the Notre Dame athletics staff as the Yankees prepare to host the Irish and Army on Nov. 20. Mosley participated in various Monogram events throughout the Michigan weekend.

The Muse caught up with Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner at the Monogram Club’s pre-game reception. Lerner was attending his first Notre Dame football game and was very impressed with the game-day atmosphere. Lerner said his primary concern with the Nationals as the season winds down is to analyze the development of the club’s September call-ups and monitor the progress of injured star Stephen Strasburg as the pitcher recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Also from the baseball diamond, Chicago White Sox radio play-by-play man Ed Farmer served as the host of the Notre Dame Friday football luncheon. A long-time Irish supporter, Farmer was seen on the sidelines prior to the game against Michigan.

The Irish cheerleading squad made its traditional stop into the Monogram Club pre-game reception on Saturday

Notre Dame Basketball Sightings

Legendary basketball Monogram winners were seen on campus all weekend in conjunction with the Michigan football weekend. The Muse spotted Ruth Riley ’00 and Troy Murphy ’01 on the sidelines prior to the football game. Riley led the Irish to the 2001 national title and was the consensus national player of the year during the 2000-01 season. She won two WNBA titles (2003, 2006) with the Detroit Shock and currently is a member of the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Murphy, a two-time consensus All-American and BIG EAST Player of the Year (2000, 2001), currently plays in the NBA as a member of the New Jersey Nets. A nine-year veteran of the league, Murphy has seen action with the Golden State Warriors (2001-07), Indiana Pacers (2007-10) and the Nets (2010-present), with career averages of 12.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

In addition to those Irish basketball icons, Pat Garrity ’98, a member of the Monogram Club’s board of directors, was present at the Monogram Club fall board meeting. Garrity, the 1997 BIG EAST Player of the Year, played 10 seasons in the NBA, including nine with the Orlando Magic (1999-2008). Garrity also served as a member of the NBA Players Association Executive Committee from 2000-08.

Bruce Flowers ’79 caught up with the Muse while snacking at the Monogram Club’s pre-game reception. Flowers played at Notre Dame under head coach Digger Phelps and is currently a buyer for Costco living in Chicago. Flowers was a member of Notre Dame’s lone Final Four squad (1977) and is one of only 49 players in Irish history to post at least 1,000 points (1,029). Flowers experienced the rivalry with Michigan first-hand in 1979, as the Irish took on the Wolverines in the Silver Dome in Detroit. The over 40,000 fans in attendance marked the largest crowd ever to witness a college basketball game at the time.

On a related hoops note, ESPN Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Vitale made his second-consecutive trek to South Bend this weekend and was spotted at the Monogram Club pre-game reception. His daughter, Terri Vitale ’95 (tennis), was present as a director at the Monogram Club’s fall board meeting.

The Muse also would like to point out that he was privileged to watch the Notre Dame-Michigan game next to Notre Dame’s most legendary basketball walk-on, the Hon. M. Marc Kelly ’82. Currently serving as the past president of the Monogram Club on its board of directors, Kelly shared some great Notre Dame stories with the Muse and broke down the football game in a way that would put the great John Madden to shame.

Monogram Club Fall Board Meeting

The Monogram Club held its annual fall board meeting on Friday in the Monogram Room. Club president Joe Restic ’79 (football), currently an orthodontist in Portland, Ore., presided over the meeting and also served as a guest speaker of Ed Farmer’s at the Friday football luncheon in the Joyce Center. Restic then presented the American flag to the Irish Guard prior to kickoff.

“I’m always impressed with the quality of our board,” Restic said. “There’s been a lot of momentum that’s been developed over the past couple years. We’ve had a great group of recent presidents and boards and we really enjoy giving back to the University, our student-athletes and also to our membership.”

During the meeting on Friday, the Monogram Club welcomed five new directors for the 2010-13 term. The group includes Don Casey ’82 (swimming), Kevin McShane ’90 (football), Chris Parent ’93 (lacrosse), Michael Brown ’01 (cheerleading) and Andrea Loman `03 (softball). Parent was featured in the “Monogram Club Corner” section of the Sept. 11 football game day program. To read the Parent article, click here.

Many of the board members also chatted with the Muse throughout the weekend about their athletic experiences against Michigan and what they’re doing when they’re not serving on the Monogram board.

Rick Pullano ’79 (baseball), currently an attorney in Chicago and an advisor with the Monogram Club board, remembers a number of memorable games against Michigan, including sweeping a doubleheader in 1976 when former Detroit Tigers outfielder Rick Leach starred for the Wolverines.

A director with the Monogram Club until 2011, Kerrie Wagner ’89 (golf) is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Red Bank, N.J. Wagner played Michigan multiple times in her Irish career, as Notre Dame often hosted the Wolverines when the Burke was still an 18-hole golf course on the ND campus. Wagner currently resides in Spring Lake Heights on the Jersey Shore, although she doesn’t tune in regularly to the popular MTV show of the same name. The Muse thinks it’s time to jump on the Snookie bandwagon, Kerrie.

Marty Allen ’59 (manager), a long-time board member, shared a few stories with the Muse about his close friendship with Gerald Ford and how he and the former U.S. president always made a casual bet whenever the Irish played Michigan in football. Ford played center and linebacker while at Michigan and helped the Wolverines earn national titles in 1932 and 1933. Ford also was a strong supporter of Notre Dame athletics and was awarded an honorary Monogram in 1997.

Allen, who lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., is the Chairman Emeritus of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.

Kevin O’Connor ’89 (lacrosse), is another board member with ties to the Oval Office. The West Hartford, Conn. resident served as the Associate Attorney General of the United States under President George W. Bush and was known for the prosecution of environmental crimes, public corruption and corporate fraud matters. O’Connor is currently a partner in the Connecticut and New York offices of Bracewell & Giuliani.

Friday Night Football Reception

Space was at a premium at the Friday football reception, as a number of football Monogram winners returned to campus to take part in the pre-game tunnel on the field. The Muse spoke with some of the former players about their memories of playing Michigan and what they’ve been up to.

David Casper ’74, captain of the 1973 Irish national championship squad, has worked for Northwestern Mutual for the past 20 years. Casper was on campus as part of the 1970 freshmen football team reunion and caught up with a number of former teammates throughout the weekend.

Casper earned All-America honors as a senior at Notre Dame before being taken in the second round of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. A five-time pro bowler at wide receiver, Casper won two Super Bowls with the Raiders and finished his career with 378 receptions for 5,216 yards and 52 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Another member of the 1970 freshman team, Bob Thomas ’74, a kicker while at Notre Dame, currently serves as a justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois after spending 12 years as a kicker in the NFL, including 10 seasons with the Bears. He received his J.D. from Loyola Chicago in 1981 and was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 1994. Thomas earned Academic All-American honors as a senior with the Irish in 1974.

“Any time you’re on a football team and you see some of the players you’ve been with, you relive your memories together,” Thomas said. “But it’s really special when you get together with guys you won a national championship with.”

Bob Crable ’81, a linebacker while with the Irish from 1978-81, currently works in a property management business and coaches football at the College of Mt. St. Joseph, a Division III school in Cincinnati. Crable also lives in Cincinnati and is the proud father of two daughters and two sons. Crable made one of the most memorable plays in Notre Dame history against Michigan, blocking a last minute field goal by the Wolverines to seal a 12-10 victory for the Irish in 1980.

Crable’s teammate, John Sweeney ’82, is the chief of general and GI surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and has seven kids with his wife, Patty. In his freshman season at Notre Dame in 1980, the starting fullback went down with a broken ankle to begin the season. Sweeney stepped into the role and started his first career game with the Irish at fullback in the Big House against Michigan. Albeit a harrowing experience, Sweeney played well and the Irish won. And yes, it was the same game in which Crable blocked the critical field goal attempt by the Wolverines.

“The games against Michigan were always back and forth and hard fought,” Sweeney said. “There were never any blowouts because both teams had lots of pride. You can always count on it being a close game when these two teams get together.”

Monogram Club board members take part in the post-game Mass

Notre Dame Hockey Arena Groundbreaking Ceremony

A cold and rainy South Bend morning could not dampen the spirits of the more that 200 members of the Fighting Irish hockey family that gathered to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the Compton Family Center, the on-campus ice arena on Saturday, September 11 at the site of the new facility. A number of hockey Monogram winners attended the ceremony and the breakfast that preceded the event in the Corporate Hospitality Tent area.

Kirt Bjork ’83, who works in the development office at Notre Dame, was on-hand for the ceremony. Bjork played professional hockey in Northern Italy and spent a year in the Detroit Red Wings organization before returning to his alma mater.

“This will be one of, if not the best, college facilities in the entire country,” Bjork said. “If it doesn’t catapult Notre Dame to the premier destination for college hockey, I don’t know what will.”

Chris Kleva ’88, a Granger, Ind. resident, acts as an important member of the local hockey community. He is the president of the Irish Youth Hockey League in South Bend and coaches with the hockey team at St. Joseph High School. Kleva is thrilled with the new Notre Dame hockey facility, as the University plans on hosting local youth and high school teams in the arena during their respective seasons.

Aaron Gill ’04 returned for the ceremony as well. He lives in his hometown of Rochester, Minn. and played professional hockey for the former Cleveland Barons of the AHL (now the Lake Erie Monsters) before moving back home to work for his family’s construction business.

“It’s very exciting to have a new rink for the program,” Gill said. “The Notre Dame hockey community is a really strong group and its good to see older guys that I didn’t play with. It’s a close-knit family.”

To read more about the groundbreaking ceremony, click here.